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Provo • One of the biggest prizes of BYU's 2015 football signing class was arrested late last week and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony.
Charles West, a running back from Coppell High School in Coppell, Texas, was arrested on Friday, two days after Signing Day, for an incident involving a knife that occurred on Jan. 28 in the garage of his family's residence in Coppell, according to court documents and Coppell police Sgt. Sammy Lujan.
According to a court affidavit filed for the arrest warrant, West, 18, is accused of sexually assaulting the complainant, a female, who had allegedly been summoned to the home by West through a website that solicits escort and other services, with the expectation that she would receive $160 for the call.
The police report and court documents allege that West brandished a large silver kitchen knife in the garage after the pair moved from a bedroom because a family member had returned home. Court documents state that West placed the knife against the complainant's neck and demanded sexual favors, which she eventually performed after an attempt to defend herself with a "small dagger" she pulled from her boot was unsuccessful.
West has retained attorney Hunt Bonneau, who issued a statement Thursday saying that "when the facts and evidence are analyzed in the right forum, it will be evident that they do not support the accusations that have been brought against Charles."
Sergeant Lujan said West was arrested nine days after the incident after a "thorough" police department investigation that included interviews with key witnesses. West has also been charged with possession of a controlled substance, marijuana.
The sergeant said no other persons involved in the incident have been arrested. The charges have been turned over to the Dallas County District Attorney's Office for prosecution.
"As much as Charles would like to speak about his current circumstances, he has agreed with my advice to continue cooperating with law enforcement authorities and allow our justice system to take its due course," wrote Bonneau.
BYU athletic department officials had not returned phone calls seeking comment as of 5 p.m. Thursday, but Bonneau noted in his statement that the coaching staff and administration have been aware of the situation since last Friday when West was arrested.
Lujan confirmed that West is well-known in the community, which is in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, about 21 miles northwest of Dallas, because of his football prowess. He said this is West's first brush with the law.
West was primarily recruited to BYU by receivers coach Guy Holliday, who has strong connections in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Last week, Bronco Mendenhall and recruiting coordinator Geoff Martzen, who has since departed for a similar position at Colorado State, pointed at West as having the capability of making the biggest immediate impact of any of the Cougars' high school signees.
BYU offered West a scholarship last summer when he attended a football camp in Provo. His Coppell teammate, linebacker Scott Huntsman, also attended the camp and has been offered and accepted preferred walk-on status by BYU.
West committed to BYU on Jan. 19 and signed on Feb. 4.
The 5-foot-10, 187-pound senior rushed for 1,465 yards and 12 touchdowns on 161 carries last fall and was named the District 7 6A Most Valuable Player in Texas.
He made his official campus visit to BYU last October and chose the Cougars after receiving more than a dozen scholarship offers from schools such as Arkansas, Texas Tech, San Diego State and Kansas State.